Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Occupational Hazard or Happy Accident?

This is a sketch I did last month while I was listening to a think tank panel discussion. I used my usual mini-travel kit. Lately, I’ve been using a larger sketchbook on my treks about town.  Surprise! Yesterday, when I went to use this little orange-covered Hahnemüehle sketchbook (nice swag from last year’s Chicago Sketch Seminar) again, this is what I found. The package of Wet Ones at the bottom of my bag leaked all over the book! More than fifty percent of the pages are covered with varying shades of bleed-through orange. At first, I just chalked it up to an occupational hazard, but when I looked at this sketch I decided it was a happy accident. I think the splash of orange adds some life to a rather mundane drawing.


  1. Definitely a happy accident, I'm still carrying those little books around in my purse and draw in them once in a while. Haven't used much watercolor in there though. The orange gives this sketch a punch, for sure.

    1. They're great for sketching with pencil and some marker but the paper doesn't take a lot of water very well.

  2. Barbara, I love it when this happens because you could go your whole life an never create the kind of random colors and patterns that accidents create. I had a similar thing happen when I sketched a couple on marker paper and then had it in storage in my basement. 10 years later, when I was going through and throwing stuff out, I came across that sketch and it had stains from an apparent flooding incident and the combination of bleeding colors and spots of mold created a wonderful result.

  3. That's one of the reasons I love watercolor so much. It often has a mind of its own and if I'm lucky I remember to follow its lead!

  4. Before I read the text, I was evaluating it as an interesting technique!!! TheMeriAtelier actually uses that style... Puts down random watercolor shapes, then fills in the line art. Interesting results!

  5. Yay for happy accidents. I like the unexpected colour here. I love challenges ...... now we will see some more sketches with this beautiful orange glow I hope. Super sketch as usual.